Pro Packing Advice: Avoid These Mistakes For Your European Trip!

packing advice

Introduction to This Packing Advice Guide

Going on a European adventure? As a full-time traveler from America, I’ve learned the art of efficient packing through countless journeys. In this guide, I’ll share practical insights on what to skip bringing, based on real experiences. Streamline your luggage, embrace the freedom of travel, and let’s ensure your European trip is all about exploration (not excess baggage).

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1. Power Strip

Everyone thinks that you need more outlets. Not true. Bringing a power strip on a 3-month trip to Europe may seem like a way to charge multiple devices simultaneously, but it’s often more cumbersome than practical. European accommodations typically have limited power outlets, and lugging around a power strip adds unnecessary weight and bulk to your luggage. Instead, opt for a compact, multi-port travel adapter with USB ports, allowing you to charge multiple devices efficiently without the inconvenience of a power strip.

2. Excessive Power Banks

While a power bank is a travel essential, packing excessively large or numerous power banks for a 3-month European trip is impractical. They are heavy and take up space. Consider the availability of charging points in accommodations, cafes, and public spaces throughout Europe. Bringing 1 high-capacity, compact power bank for occasional recharges is more sensible, helping you stay connected without overburdening your luggage with unnecessary weight. Prioritize practicality and recharge your power bank when needed.

3. Excessive Go-Pro Accessories

While capturing memorable moments is essential, bringing excessive accessories can be counterproductive. Do you really need to bring your chest strap and 3 tripods? Evaluate your planned activities and choose a few versatile mounts and accessories that cover a range of situations. This ensures you capture the essence of your journey without the hassle of managing an abundance of gear that you may lug around with you but never use.

packing advice
Pro Packing Advice: Avoid excessive Go-Pro accessories

4. Travel Pillow

While comfort during travel is crucial, bulky travel pillows can take up valuable space in your bag and are cumbersome. Plus, where do you put it after your flight or train journey? Opt for inflatable or compressible travel pillows that offer neck support while being easy to pack. Or alternately, use a travel scarf filled with clothes. These space-saving alternatives provide the necessary comfort without sacrificing precious luggage room, allowing you to focus on other essential items for your extended trip.

5. Travel Iron

A travel iron may seem like a necessity for maintaining a polished appearance, but for a 3-month trip to Europe, consider alternatives to keep your luggage lightweight. Select clothing items made from wrinkle-resistant fabrics, or use wrinkle-release sprays to freshen up your clothes. European accommodations often provide irons or laundry services, reducing the need for a travel iron.

6. Short Phone Charging Cable

While a short charging cable may seem convenient, it limits your flexibility in reaching power outlets. Bring a longer (2 or 3-meter), versatile charging cable that allows you to comfortably charge your devices from different distances. This ensures you can use your devices while they charge without being confined to a specific spot, enhancing the convenience of your travel experience. Additionally, take a look at how many connector types you are planning on bringing and try to consolidate to as few types as possible. If you can use USB-C for everything, do it and remove as many cables as you can.

packing advice 1
Pro Packing Advice: Bring a long phone charging cable!

7. Collapsible Water Bottle

Collapsible water bottles are fantastic for saving space, but in Europe, where readily available water fountains and affordable bottled water are common, you may reconsider bringing one for a 3-month trip. The collapsable water bottles generally do not hold many ounces, so you may run out of water quickly and still have to deal with the collapsed object afterward. They are also prone to breaking. Evaluate your destination’s water availability and choose accordingly. If resources are abundant, you can skip bringing a collapsible bottle and purchase drinks on the go, reducing the weight and bulk in your luggage. Or, just bring a regular reusable water bottle/tumbler since your backpack has a spot designed for it anyway.

8. Solar-Powered Charger

While solar-powered chargers sound eco-friendly, their efficiency depends on weather conditions and exposure to sunlight. For a 3-month European trip where weather can be unpredictable, relying solely on solar power may not be practical. Instead, focus on a reliable power bank or traditional charging methods to ensure your devices stay powered throughout your journey. Additionally, you tend to be exploring during the day and have your luggage safely tucked away at your lodging. Are you really going to leave your solar charger outside for the day or bring it with you clipped to your bag as you hike around Europe?

9. Winter Hats and Gloves

Packing winter hats and gloves is unnecessary. Save luggage space by opting for seasonal-appropriate clothing. If your journey takes you to colder regions, purchase these items locally to ensure you have the right gear without overpacking for the entirety of your European adventure, then donate them when you are done using them! Trust me, the space savings in your bag are worth it. 

10. Rolling Luggage

While rolling luggage is convenient for flat surfaces, its maneuverability is an absolute pain in Europe’s diverse terrain and crowded areas. For a 3-month journey that may involve navigating through cobblestone streets or using public transportation frequently, consider a backpack or duffle bag for better maneuverability and ability to fit in different-sized storage compartments. This ensures you can move seamlessly and effortlessly through various European destinations without being hindered by the limitations of rolling luggage.

Packing Advice
Pro Packing Advice: Don’t bring rolling luggage!

11. Hair Dryer

While maintaining a stylish look is essential, many accommodations in Europe provide hair dryers. Carrying your own can add unnecessary weight and take up valuable space in your luggage for a 3-month journey. Embrace the simplicity of using what’s available at your destination, allowing you to streamline your packing and focus on other travel essentials. If you’re particular about your hair dryer, consider compact and travel-friendly options to strike a balance between convenience and practicality.

12. Spice Kit

While bringing spices sounds like you can do better self-catering, carrying a spice kit for a 3-month trip to Europe may be excessive. European destinations offer diverse and flavorful cuisines, and you can explore local markets to enhance your meals with fresh herbs and spices. Save luggage space by embracing the local flavors and experimenting with regional ingredients rather than bringing a dedicated spice kit for an extended journey. Plus, you would be surprised how much straight-up salt and pepper enhances your food!

In summary, for a 3-month trip to Europe, it’s essential to prioritize practicality, versatility, and adaptability in your packing. Streamlining your luggage with thoughtful choices ensures a more enjoyable and hassle-free travel experience, allowing you to immerse yourself fully in the diverse cultures and landscapes of Europe.

Go here for our Ultimate Nomad Essentials Guide to make sure you have all of the right things in your pack!

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Written by Bad Foley 29 January 2024

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